Tag Archive: Advent

Tick, Tock

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock…

The steady rhythm was maddening. It never sped up, just stayed at the same, consistent, regulated beat. Penelope felt quite ready to scream, having lain in bed for so long just listening to the ticking, ticking, ticking clock. Tick tock. Tick tock.

Finally, with a quiet growl, she threw off the covers and stepped out of bed, pulling on her robe to shield from the cold and padding down the stairs. Her feet sank into the plush carpet as she reached the living room and took a seat on the couch. This way at least she’d be away from the clock as she tried to sleep and she’d be the first one to the Christmas tree. It was set up in the corner near the electric fireplace, all lit up. It sparkled and glittered in its own lights, which reflected off the ornaments to send colors splaying all over the room.

As Penelope pulled a throw over her and settled into place, she heard a snick, snick, snick sound and glared at the clock on the mantle. “I thought you didn’t make noise,” she muttered. She tried to ignore it, but the harder she tried the louder it seemed. She tossed the throw back onto the back of the couch with another fierce glare at the clock and headed down into her father’s den. There was an couch down there that smelled like old leather and his aftershave, and it would do all right for a bed. It’s Christmas Eve, she thought. Why am I so irritable?

She laid on the couch and sighed, trying to relax. After a while of the silence, she was finally able to fall asleep.

***********************

Penelope was woken by someone shaking her, and she looked up to see her father standing over her. “Hey, Pen. Why are you all the way down here?”

“The clocks were annoying,” she answered, getting up. Realization hit her. “It’s Christmas!”

Her father nodded with a grin and Penelope dashed up the stairs. No more waiting, no more maddening clocks, just family and light and presents and… She glanced out the window. Snow! She jumped and ran into the living room, almost right into her mom. “It’s snowing!”

Her parents laughed and the three of them sat around the tree, passing out presents and enjoying the peace and joy that flooded the house.

Courage Is…

Time for another member of this series. I did one on love, which started it, and then two weeks ago I did one on hope, and they’re linked there if you’d like to go find them. This one is obviously about courage.

Courage is standing up to a bully, even though your heart is pounding in terror.

Courage is withstanding the jeers of those against your beliefs with your head up, even though your heart is breaking.

Courage is dashing into a fight to save your friends, forgetting your fear in the heat of the moment.

Courage is owning up to a mistake even though you know it’ll get you in trouble.

“Courage is living up to your destiny, even if it means fighting dragons.” (This was one my sister suggested and it made me laugh so I decided to share it.)

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt.

And lastly, “Without fear, there cannot be courage.” ~ Eragon by Christopher Paolini.

Lullaby

Sleep my child, be at peace.

Sleep my child, dream sweet dreams.

Dream of snow and happy faces.

Dream of love and fireplaces.

Sleep my child, deeply dream.

Sleep my child, don’t you scream.

Dream of mangers and of babes.

Dream of One who came to save.

Sleep my child, sleep in peace.

Sleep my child, dream sweet dreams.

The Gift

To: The first child you see.

From: A friend.

Marianna looked down at the package she held, reading the tag, and stepped inside the orphanage. She looked up and saw a group of kids run out of the library, no doubt playing hide-and-seek. Marianna smiled as they passed, and looked back down at the package in her arms. The first child you see. She was fairly sure she’d seen Terrence first.

“Terrence!”

The whole group halted and looked at Marianna.

“Yes?” Terrence said, brushing a mop of brown curls out of his face.

“This is for you.” She held out the large box and Terrence looked between it and her for a moment in confusion.

“For me?”

Marianna nodded.

Terrence reached out slowly and took it, setting it down on the floor and pulling off the masking tape that held it shut. The other children oohed and ahhed as he pulled out its contents. Two teddy bears, several candy canes, and a miniature Christmas tree. He looked up at Marianna, eyes wide. “I don’t need all this!”

“It was sent to you.”

“Then…” He looked down at the open box. “I’ll share it.” He looked at the kids behind him and smiled. “I don’t need all this, but I’m not the only kid here.” He handed candy canes to each of the kids, and it came out to perfectly the right number. The two teddy bears went to the twins Marcel and Maisley.

Someone else crept out of the library, leaning against the wall with her hands clasped behind her. Talia.

Terrence only took a moment to notice her and looked in the box for another candy cane, but there wasn’t one. Without a pause, he walked over and offered her his. “Here.”

She stared at the candy cane. “But it’s yours.”

“I want you to have it. I’ll be all right.”

She slowly unclasped her hands and reached out for it, her fingers resting on it gently for a moment, looking at Terrence as if for permission, before curling around the cane. “Thank you,” she whispered.

“You’re welcome.” Terrence smiled.

Marianna smiled as Terrence took out the Christmas tree, figuring out where to put it. “How about right here?” he said. “On the desk where everyone will see it every day.” He set it down and turned back, grinning at everyone. “Thank you, Marianna.”

“It’s not from me.” She picked up the box and took it out to the recycling bin. She spotted a little girl standing outside in a coat and mittens, her arms wrapped around her.

“Are you all right?” Marianna asked.

The girl nodded, looking over at her with earnest eyes. “Did they get my package?”

Marianna nodded, smiling. “They loved it.”

“May I… meet them?”

Marianna nodded again before looking around the parking lot. “Where’s your mother?”

“She’s in the car. I can go get her.” The little girl darted off, perfect black ringlets bouncing against her maroon coat. She came back holding her mother’s hand, and she made a beeline for the door.

Marianna held the door for the two of them and they stepped inside. When the little girl saw the tiny Christmas tree set up, she beamed. “It looks beautiful!” She turned her attention to the children, still smiling. “Hello. I’m Samantha.”

“I’m Terrence.” He held out a hand and she shook it.

“You got my package. I’m so glad. I wanted to give you something because I know you probably don’t get much for Christmas.” She looked over at Marcel and Maisley as they hugged their teddy bears. “Those two were my favorite. That one’s Lilac and that one’s George. I hope you like them as much as I do.”

The twins nodded, grinning.

“And candy canes are my favorite Christmas candy. I love peppermint. I hope you enjoy them.”

“Would you like to play hide-and-seek with us?” Terrence asked.

“Lilac and George can come along!” Marcel said.

Terrence beckoned for Talia to come along before the group rushed off to play.

Marianna smiled. This would be a Christmas to remember.

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